Microsoft Launching Holiday Deals

For Black Friday, Microsoft announced some deals on Marketplace content. Unfortunately, they were for US players only. To make up for this, each week in December, you can look forward to finding a new deal each week. Kicking things off is the Legendary Map Pack, marked down from 600 MS Points to 400.

Each of these is a one week deal only, so be sure to take advantage of them quickly if this is something you’re interested in. Every Monday, the new item will be announced and it will go on sale that Tuesday. So, not only is the mystery of the new Live Arcade game something to look forward to, now you can wait and see a new way for the company to take your money. Impressive Microsoft, impressive.


States News Service March 6, 2012 BURNSVILLE — The following information was released by the office of Minnesota Rep. John Kline:

Congressman John Kline honored several Minnesotans with Congressional Certificates of Special Recognition at his sixth annual “Star of the North” ceremony at the Lakeville Area Arts Center.

“I was honored to recognize Minnesotan men, women, and children from around the 2nd district who identified needs in the community and stepped forward to serve,” said Kline. “In ways both small and large, these individuals took the steps necessary to make life a little better for someone beyond themselves. The incredible generosity and selfless service they have shown is as an inspiration to us all.” In his fifth term in Congress, Congressman Kline is the Chairman of the House Education and the Workforce Committee. He also serves on the House Armed Services Committee.

APPLE VALLEY Rick Anderson held his third annual bike sale last summer, raising over $6,200 to benefit the youth-mentoring nonprofit, Kids n’ Kinship. Anderson and his wife, Lise, have been actively involved with the nonprofit as volunteer mentors.

Lou Miller, of Big Apple Bagels of Apple Valley, is committed to ensuring no bagel goes to waste. She donates to a number of organizations throughout the community, including veterans who volunteer at the Fort Snelling Cemetery, students at a local elementary school, and food shelves throughout Dakota County.

BELLE PLAINE Operation Puppies for Soldiers was started by Stacy Dvorak of Scott County Pheasants Forever #125. Since its founding, it has united 12 Minnesota soldiers with hunting pups. Accepting the award was Diane, Heather and Wyatt Borgardt, the family of Specialist James Borgardt, who received Puppy #12, Avery.

CHANHASSEN The Centennial Hills Crafters sewed quilts and knitted hats and scarves for Bundles of Love and St. Joseph’s Hospital. Jean Mancini accepted the award.

Chanhassen High School Capstone Marketing class held a “Dancing with the Teachers” fundraiser, pairing eight students and eight teachers in a choreographed performance. The event rose over $1,400 for Toys for Tots. Sydney Storm, Mariah Williams and Megan Hugh accepted the award.

CHASKA Scott-Carver Project Community Connect is an event designed to assist homeless citizens by providing a one-stop shop of an array of services. Accepting the award was: Patricia Pettit, coordinator of Project Community Connect; Allison Streich of Heading Home Scott-Carver; Amanda Ladyha, a volunteer contributor; and Heidi Keyho, a volunteer planner for the event.

CLEVELAND The Cleveland High School Student Council coordinated a number of service projects this year, including a Fall and Winter Clothing Exchange, the Help a Neighbor Food Drive and a Candy-Canes for a Cause fundraiser to provide families in need with clothing and toys. Student Council advisor, Arica Otte, and Student Council members Grant DenHerder, Kevin Wagner and Alexis Hillbeck accepted the award.

COTTAGE GROVE The Cottage Grove Holiday Train Committee raised $100,000 for the Friends in Need Food Shelf through a variety of fundraisers. Committee members Mary Slusser, Sandy Shiely, Colleen Stelmach and Phil Wagner accepted the award.

EAGAN Eagan Culver’s franchisee owners, Clint and Gloria Racine, go above and beyond to give back to their community. They sponsor a number of blood drives each year to benefit the Red Cross. Additionally, they provide other incentives for people to give blood, including a “Pint for Pint” promotion.

A group from the United Methodist Church traveled to Haiti to help rebuild homes destroyed by the January 2010 earthquake. A team has been making the trip since 2001. Team member, Mary Doran, accepted the award.

FARIBAULT The Basic Blessings Backpack Program provides food over the weekends and holidays to students who are on the free meal program. Over 240 bags were filled every week during the summer in 2010 and 2011. Rebecca Gramse of MRG Tool and Die, and Gretchen Moe of Reliance Bank, accepted the award.

FARMINGTON Farmington Elementary School held its fourth annual food drive to benefit the Farmington Food Shelf. Accepting the award was project organizer, Jen Venz, Principal Ben Januschka, Karen Davis, Debbie Ruth and Dawn Slinger.

Doctors Carey and Jessica Tri traveled to the Dominican Republic to provide dental services to those in need. They provided cleanings, drillings, bone grafts and other services to those who would not otherwise be able to afford the procedures.

The Lutheran Church of Our Savior Crafting Group uses plastic shopping bags to make woven sleeping mats. The group donates the mats to the Hope Church Street Ministry that hands them out to the homeless. Darlene Berg, Darlene Masters, Nancy Anderson and Jan Ochsendorf accepted the award.

Valmont Industries participated in a series of projects in their community throughout the year, including donating 75 pints of blood to the Quarterly Red Cross Blood Drive, donating 1,559 pounds of food to the 360 Communities Food Drive, bell ringing for the Salvation Army, participating in Feed My Starving Children, and organizing a Military Care Initiative and Military Family Picnic. General Manager, Jim Morris, accepted the award. see here chanhassen high school

Jessica Autey has created and distributed over 200 Teen Activity Packets to the Minnesota Children’s Hospital. Jessica was inspired to begin her project after regular visits to the hospital to see her younger brother, Timmy. During these visits, she noticed the need for activity kits for older kids and teens. Timmy was being treated in the hospital after he was diagnosed with a rare type of Leukemia in 2009 and passed away in June 2010. Jessica continues to support other young patients through her project.

GOODHUE Ashley Warnke, of Goodhue, donated more than 10 inches of her hair to Locks of Love. This was her third donation to the non-profit.

HASTINGS James and Cindy Galland have served annual Christmas meals to local public safety officials since 1991. The tradition began when the two were engaged and James and his roommate needed a place to eat during their work shift.

Last year, the Oak Ridge Manor Quilters created and donated 50 lap blankets to the Prescott Rehabilitation and Nursing Center. Naoma Mike, Sally Herman and Belva Domogalla accepted the award.

At the beginning of each school year, St. John the Baptist Catholic Elementary School donates to Books to Africa. Julie Strommen, Sister Tresa Margret, Mason Murphy and Jacob Biermaier accepted the award.

Patricia Zuzek founded the Hope for Homes Group in 2008 to help assist those who are facing the hardships of losing their homes. The Hope for Homes Group provides resources and comfort to the families, couples and individuals to help through loss and transition. this web site chanhassen high school

NERSTRAND The Aspelund Ever-Readies 4-H Club held a Sandwich Slam, racing to make as many sandwiches as possible in 20 minutes. The club made 528 sandwiches and donated them to the Simpson House, an overnight homeless shelter. Emma Berquam, Chance Washburn, Elaine Dorn, Abigail Dorn, Noah Dorn, Madison Leubke and Cal Luebke accepted the award.

NEW PRAGUE Kaylah Smeby, 13, actively volunteers at the Mala Strana nursing home, where she plays cards, bingo and other games with the residents.

NORTHFIELD The Laura Baker Service Association has hosted an annual Thanksgiving Dinner since 1998. The event is open to the community and serves around 300 meals. Sandra Gerdes, Eileen Anderson, Leighton Hambrick and Jan McCorkell accepted the award.

NORWOOD YOUNG AMERICA The Central Sunshiners 4-H Club collected 92 coats to donate to the nonprofit, Mary’s Wish. Accepting the award was group leader, Tammy Ekstrom, and group members, Cody Ekstrom and Casey Ekstrom.

PINE ISLAND The American Legion Post 184 organized a Hometown Hugs effort in Pine Island. More than 17 boxes and 30 Christmas cards were sent to those serving overseas. The City of Pine Island embraced the project with several organizations in the community participating, including the Girls Scouts, Boy Scouts, the Pine Island High School and representatives from the Post Office. Steve Postier of the American Legion Post 184, Postmaster Modesty Montemayor, and Auxiliary member Pat Jackson, accepted the award.

Pine Island Girl Scouts of Troop 25149 donated stuffed bear toys to the Pine Island Police and Fire Departments. These stuffed animals would then be given to children who had been involved in crisis situations, such as a fire or car accident.

Deb Knox of the Van Horn Public Library Board and Rochester Hilton Double Tree, Mollie Pherson of Southeastern Libraries Cooperating, and Morgan Hansen of the Van Horn Public Library, organized a book drive at six local libraries to benefit pediatric patients at the Mayo Clinic. Over 1,200 children’s books were donated to the Book Drive for Mayo Clinic’s Youngest Patients in Pine Island alone.

PRIOR LAKE The Beyond the Yellow Ribbon’s South of the River chapter assisted a Navy reservist and his wife complete construction on an apartment in his mother’s farmhouse prior to his deployment. Dawn Buhain and Denise Kadrlik accepted the award.

Julia Prins organized a group of friends to form the Girls of Summer 2011 club. The girls completed a number of service projects, including making birthday gift bags for the St. Louis Emergency Program and making blankets and toys for the humane society.

Kevin Humbert organized efforts of Kids’ Company students in their projects to benefit “Ella’s Halo”, a nonprofit dedicated to supporting families of children born prematurely. The students made fleece blankets to be donated to local neonatal intensive care units.

The Bridges Area Learning Center organized a “penny war fundraiser” for the Adopt-A-Hero program, raising over $400 for a combat hospital in Afghanistan. Sarah Osojnicki, Ben Huhner, Andrew Hartman and Melissa Olson accepted the award.

RANDOLPH The Randolph High School Volleyball team hosted its second annual Dig Pink night. The team raised $3,600 to donate to the Side-Out Foundation for breast cancer research. Haley Trom, Haley Ehleringer, Alexis Larson, Kalyn Friedges and Danyelle Radman accepted the award.

Randolph High School students, Jennifer Carnel and Anna Weidner, helped coordinate the Randolph Elementary Food Drive. The students collected more than 3,265 items and donated them to the Randolph Food Shelf in St. Mark’s Lutheran Church.

RED WING The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and St. Brigid’s at Hi-Park Healthcare Center joined together to create the “Taste of Home” initiative in Red Wing. These groups created 285 care packages with the help of Red Wing community members and sent them to military personnel. Rosie Caulkins and Megan Amsden accepted the award.

Norwood and BIC Graphic hosted a Turkey Trot last year and collected 2,883 pounds of food to benefit the Red Wing Area Food Shelf. Ann Moreno, Holly Fick, Pam Dusbabek and Lisa Huppert accepted the award.

The Red Wing Squirt B Hockey team raised $1,000 to help support fellow hockey player, Jack Jablonski, after his debilitating injury. Hayden Zylka, Colton Quade, Billy Talyor and Lucas Kemmerer accepted the award.

SAVAGE In the wake of the disaster following the Alabama tornadoes, Mike and Nicole Wiskow drove 17 hours from their home in Savage to Alabama to help provide relief for those whose homes had been destroyed by the natural disaster.

Ted Field started the “Warm Heads, Warm Hands, Warm Hearts” project in 1993 to provide hats and gloves to those in need. In 2011, over 21,000 hats and gloves were distributed.

WACONIA The Waconia Boy’s Hockey team held a food drive and collected 320 pounds of food to be donated to the Waconia United Food Shelf. Coach Dan Benham and players Charlie Klos, Ryan Mattson and Justin Reinke accepted the award.

Mavis Mathistad coordinated the “Books for Kids” drive at Bayview Elementary in Waconia. Last year was the 8th year of the fundraiser and over 200 books were donated. Since “Books for Kids” began, over 3,000 books have been donated to children and teens for the holidays.

WATERVILLE Last summer, the Trinity Lutheran Church organized a trip to assist in the flooding relief efforts in Minot, North Dakota. Sylvia Stoltenow, of Waterville, Bob Stock, Billy Steinhauer and Alex Struck accepted the award.

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